The Trekker’s Friend is a lightweight highly portable device that converts your backpack and trekking poles to a hiking trailer, so that hiking with a backpack can be easier, faster and more comfortable than carrying it, as described here and here. You can buy the Trekker’s Friend hiking trailer (Lite version) here (or you can usually find it on eBay if you’d prefer).
Other walking trailers are already commercially available, but they are heavy and slow to dismantle, and can’t be used when the terrain becomes too steep or rough, so they cannot be taken on trips where such terrain might be encountered. The Trekker’s Friend overcomes these problems by being lightweight and quickly converted between carrying and wheeling as the terrain requires.
When using the Trekker’s Friend as a walking trailer, your walking poles connect to the wheel assembly to form part of the trailer’s frame (see pictures 1 and 3).
When the terrain becomes too rough to use a trailer, disconnect your poles from the device and use them to assist walking as usual. Then carry your backpack as usual, with the Trekker’s Friend assembly attached (see pictures 2 and 4).
It takes around a minute to change between carrying and wheeling or back again.
The daypack that the Trekker’s Friend comes in can be used to balance the load when wheeling the pack, taking more weight off your body (see picture 3).
When travelling by car or public transport the Trekker’s Friend can be left attached to your backpack or packed away in its daypack (see picture 5).
The Trekker’s Friend Lite with version 2 harness weighs approx 1.7 kg, which does not include either the backpack or trekking poles, as these are not part of the device.
The Trekker’s Friend needs to be used with trekking poles that are as strong and rigid as possible, preferably made of Aluminium 7075.
The Trekker’s Friend Lite consists of the following items:
- A daypack, made of 210D Cordura Nylon, that attaches to the bottom piece and your backpack and carries items, thereby balancing your load better and taking more weight off your body (see picture 3). The daypack has an internal pocket (picture 10.1) and is useful to have on your journey (see picture 11). The daypack can be packed into its own internal pocket when not in use (see picture 10)
- Two plastic wheels with sealed metal bearings and tyres that can’t puncture (see pictures 6 and 15)
- A webbing harness (version 2), which has two shoulder straps and a wide waist belt (see picture 9). It connects to your trekking poles using two small ‘snap hook’ carabiners and a suspension system to pull your backpack along on wheels. You can distribute the weight between your shoulders and waist as you walk, and can remove the shoulder straps entirely to walk for longer periods just using the waist belt
- A top and bottom piece, connected together with a cord. The top piece (picture 8) is made of aluminium and plastic and the bottom piece (picture 7) is made of stainless steel. These have built-in cords to attach to your backpack, and places to attach the trekking poles and wheels. The top piece also has shock cords to attach your poles to and the bottom piece has shock cords to tie the waist belt of your backpack out of the way when wheeling it.
Four main cords are used to secure the Trekker’s Friend Lite to your backpack:
- Bottom side cords, attached to the bottom piece, which join at the top of your backpack (under the top pocket) and hold the bottom piece in place
- Top side cords, attached to the top piece, which join over the straps securing the shoulder straps to the backpack and hold the top piece in place.
- A centre cord (thicker and stronger than the others) attached to the bottom and top pieces, that goes around the centre of your backpack, joined at the back, and holds both the top and bottom piece in place
- A thicker and stronger cord for attaching the Trekker’s Friend daypack to your backpack, which goes from the hand grip of the daypack to the handgrip of your backpack.
These cords are black, made of nylon, and each one has at least 135 kg breaking strain. You connect the cords to each other and adjust them using Nite Ize ‘CamJam’ cord tighteners (picture 14). Two sizes of CamJam cord fasteners are used – the larger ones are used for the the centre cord and the cord for attaching the daypack to the handgrip of your backpack.
As shown in pictures 12 and 12.1, the standard Trekker’s Friend is made for backpacks that are up to 35 cm across at the bottom – this fits most modern backpacks. If your backpack is wider than 35 cm please get in touch to discuss as bottom pieces can usually be made wider for no extra cost.
Instructions on how to put together and use the Trekker’s Friend Lite are provided here.
Buy the Trekker’s Friend hiking trailer here to make your walk faster, easier and more comfortable!
The weight and dimensions provided under “Additional Information” are as packaged for posting.